TRIBUTES have been paid to a keen motorcyclist who has died a week after coming off his motorbike in Reedley.

Experienced rider Howard Heyhirst, 38, came off his Aprilla 125 bike in Colne Road a week ago last Wed-nesday.

Police have said that no other vehicle was involved in the incident, which took place at around 3.30pm.

Mr Heyhirst, from Nelson, was initially taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital for treatment, and later transferred to the Royal Preston Hospital.

But he died from his injuries on Thursday night, police confirmed last night.

The father-of-one leaves a three-year-old daughter, Alyshia, mother Audrey and brothers Adrian and David.

In a family statement, they said: “Howard was a keen motorcyclist and had a passion for bike racing.

“He was a popular person and frequented The Craven Heifer at Harle Syke, where he leaves a large circle of friends.”

Police are still investigating the circumstances of the incident and are examining the possibility that the motorcycle may have had a mechanical defect.

Tragically Mr Heyhirst, formerly of Brunshaw Road, Burnley, had already seen the life of one of his close friends claimed in a June 2004 accident.

He paid tribute in the Lancashire Telegraph to Jon Glover, of Bolton Road West, Ramsbottom, who was killed when his motorbike crashed into a van in Nelson.

Biking enthusiast Mr Heyhirst was also involved with Doncaster-based TJW Racing as a senior tyre technician.

People who may have witnessed the crash can call Sgt Gareth, of the Colne road policing unit, on 01282 472431.